Stage 2 Watering Restrictions come into effect May 1


Stage 2 Watering Restrictions in the City of Nanaimo will take effect May 1, 2019 and will remain in place until further notice. This means that sprinkling can only occur on even days for even-numbered houses and on odd days for odd-numbered houses. Sprinkling is permitted for a maximum of two hours between 7-10 am or 7-10 pm.

The City is part of Team WaterSmart - a region-wide initiative that focuses on water conservation and uniform communications, including a common classification system for watering restriction stages with each water supplier determining their own start date of each stage.

For more information on the region-wide watering restrictions and an interactive map, visit

Link to Strategic Plan: Water Conservation

Key Points

  • Starting May 1, even numbered addresses can water on even-numbered days of the month; odd numbered addresses can water on odd-numbered days of the month, for two hours only, between 7:00 am and 10:00 am OR between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
  • Hand-watering, drip irrigation and micro irrigation can continue at any time. Vegetable and food gardens are not included in the watering restrictions and may be watered at any time.
  • Consistent watering restrictions have helped ensure a common framework across the entire mid-Island area. It is still important that everyone maintain a conservation focus to preserve our precious drinking water and avoid further restrictions.
  • Conserving water voluntarily helps leave more water in the Nanaimo River for fish habitat and recreational use.


"Watering restrictions help to make sure our water supply system operates efficiently and effectively to deliver clean potable water to the community, provide emergency fire services and support fisheries flows to the Nanaimo River throughout the summer. As a shared community resource, water quality and water conservation benefits everyone – let’s use our water wisely."

Manager of Water Resources
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • Stage 3 restrictions will only be brought into effect should water supplies become stressed. Stage 3 consists of voluntary reductions to avoid a full sprinkling ban, with the emphasis on cutting back on lawn watering. This approach was very effective in Nanaimo during the 2015 drought.
  • Stage 4 bans non-essential water use – particularly automated sprinkling, vehicle washing and outdoor surface washing – when supplies are stressed and voluntary reductions beyond Stage 2 are not sufficiently decreasing demand.
  • Vegetable watering and drip irrigation are exempt from restrictions. Exemptions for businesses which require water for operations, essential municipal playing fields and nurseries are also exempt, to minimize economic impact while conserving. This helps avoid challenges in applying the bylaw.
  • Outdoor watering uses twice the water compared to winter time use.


Mike Squire
Manager of Water Resources
City of Nanaimo

Print News Release

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